Treatment Options for Bunions
It's something your mother and your best friend have. Now, you see it developing on your left foot. That sore, red bump at the base of your big toe is a bunion. Medically termed Hallux valgus, this common foot deformity happens gradually, turning the big toe inward toward the second or even third toe. What can you do? The first step is a consultation with your Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ, podiatrist at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists.
Many, many bunions
The American College of Rheumatology reports that approximately 36 percent of the adult population in the United States has some sort of bunion. Most of those people are in the senior age group, and more women than men have this foot deformity. However, anyone can develop a bunion--even children.
A variety of symptoms results from bunion formation, including:
- Pain when walking
- Callus and corn formation
- Redness, soreness, swelling
- Friction against footwear
- Other deformities such as hammertoes
Causes of bunions
Heredity plays a role, but perhaps the most significant factor is footwear. High heels which place pressure on the forefoot change musculoskeletal alignment. People who overpronate their feet as they walk or have flat arches often develop bunions. Obesity contributes to bunion formation as well.
Your Turnersville and Pennsauken podiatrist will examine your feet and take digital X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. Also, he'll listen to your symptoms and then devise a care plan to relieve the pain and pressure associated with your bunion. Usually conservative interventions are best; however, the foot doctor may advise a bunionectomy to remove the bony bump and realign the metatarsophalangeal joint as needed.
Conservative measures may include:
- Shoe padding
- Changing to shoes with more room in the toes and with lower heels
- Night splints (which work best for adolescents who are still growing)
- Shoe orthotics (customized inserts) for improved support
- Stretching exercises
- Cortisone injections to relieve inflammation
With consistent implementation of your bunion care plan, you can expect your symptoms to subside. However, if you're suffering with a bunion right now, don't wait. Contact Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists for a consultation with one of our experienced podiatrists. You'll feel better in no time! For the Turnersville office, phone (856) 875-8855, and for the Pennsauken location, call (856) 488-5295.